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Blok London Letty Mitchell
Courtesy of BLOK

How to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing after lockdown


TextDominic Cadogan

Yoga teacher and senior trainer at BLOK Letty Mitchell shares her tips

As a dancer, yoga teacher, artist, and senior trainer for BLOK, you’d imagine that Letty Mitchell would be perfectly in tune with her wellness, but as lockdown started she began to realise that wasn’t the case. “I used to teach six days a week, so my lifestyle was working all the time – I’d be teaching from morning to evening,” she tells us. “For me, having to slow down has allowed me to practise what I preach. Actually having the time to calm down has been a real blessing.” 

The good news is that the time in isolation has given Letty the opportunity to reflect on her teachings and what is most important; mainly that in order to stay physically fit, it requires mental maintenance too. “100 per cent, it’s important to work the body physically, you need to move energy out through the body,” she explains. “But your mind and body are completely coherent and work together – when we pacify the nervous system, the immune system goes up. The only way to tune back into ourselves, when we get caught up with anxiety, drama, and things outside of ourselves, is through meditation, mindfulness, and slowing down.” 

Whether you’ve practised mindfulness before or not, Letty says one simple addition to your daily routine will make a big difference. “It can feel overwhelming with the amount of material, teachers, and classes out there, but my suggestion would be to keep it stripped back and simple,” she says. “Take a moment for yourself, just five minutes a day to close your eyes and breathe. The brain might overcomplicate – it likes to do that – but just close your eyes and listen, that’s it.” 

Practising what she preaches, Letty is allowing this period of reflection to change how she works post-lockdown. “I’m going to give myself some time off, I’m not going to work six days a week,” she laughs. I’ve had a massive epiphany in terms of the importance of art and creativity. I don’t want to become a robotic teacher, I want to always be relatable to what is happening globally and that can only stem from self-work. It’s crucial to give yourself time to develop your creative expression.” 

“Take a moment for yourself, just five minutes a day to close your eyes and breathe. The brain might overcomplicate – it likes to do that – but just close your eyes and listen, that’s it” – Letty Mitchell  

She hopes that others will do the same and muses on how the worlds of fitness and wellness will emerge renewed too. “Holistic health is going to be bigger and I also think studios and fitness spaces will be very popular, even if we can’t touch each other,” she says. “Some people say that the wellness industry is inauthentic, but I think whether authentic or inauthentic, the fact that it is booming means that people will their way in. Eventually, I really believe that there will be a global movement – this is our opportunity to transcend.”

Here, Letty shares her five tips on how you can maintain your physical and mental wellbeing throughout lockdown and beyond.

SLOW DOWN 

This might seem contradictory but resting and slowing down is so important. It comes down to going with the ebb and flow of life, not saying being swept away from your intentions but just saying it’s global now that you have the opportunity to pause. If you’re someone like me that was working ridiculous hours before lockdown, see this as an opportunity to sort your nervous system out. Pacifying the nervous system is going to make your immune system go up. So, slow down. 

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS 

Listen to your intuition. Know that there are times we need to listen to teachers, instructors, and people outside of ourselves, but also that there are also times that we don’t need information because we have all the information we need to know within. A little bit of time to trust your intuition.

EXPLORE YOUR WHOLE BODY

A lot of teachers, including myself, are encouraging people to understand where stress is held in your body. There are specific places like hips, shoulders, neck, and jaw which if you concentrate on stretching and releasing tension from makes a real holistic difference to your whole health. 

DO YOUR RESEARCH 

From personal experience, I would say use the resources that are available to you in your own time. Know that resources are available right now, say if you want to tap into Tai Chi and you’ve never done it before, or yoga or meditation – there are resources out there for you when you are ready and that does not have to be now. 

APPROACH WELLNESS HOLISTICALLY 

Acknowledge the different aspects of yourself you need to concentrate on. What are you doing for your mental health? What are you doing for your emotional health? How are you eating? All of these things are really going to tie the bow on your whole wellness program. It’s not just about working on one part of ourselves. It’s the whole body. 

Sign-up to Dazed Beauty Club now for a free membership to BLOKtv – featuring 150 online classes a week taught by Letty Mitchell and more of their incredible roster of trainers. 

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